"The Play" (2005), documentary

Ummuye, Behiye, Ummu, Fatma K., Cennet, Saniye, Fatma F., Zeynep and Nesime are nine peasant women living in Arslankoy, a mountain village in southern Turkey. They spend their days working hard in the fields, on the construction site and at home. To lighten the burden of life, these women come together for a wholly different reason. They intend to write and perform a play based on their own life stories. They gather at the local high school, which they were shy of even stepping into until that day and they work with the principal, Mr. Huseyin. They reveal their life stories that they were even afraid to tell themselves and confront. For days on end, under the curious gazes of the village men, they work tirelessly, discuss and create with much fun a play, "The Outcry of Women!" This documentary is about the development process of this play and the change the women went through during this period.

Director's Perspective

Those nine women doing theater in their own village would, in any case, write and put on stage a play based on their life stories, whether or not I made this movie. That was the most exciting aspect of this work for me.

I wanted to shoot a fiction-like documentary rather than a documentary-like fiction film, without trying to be invisible but quietly integrating myself in their lives at that very village, at that very moment and with the very people living through this happening.

It has been a very important experience for me to observe the film to go back and forth on the thin line between a documentary and a fiction film while I was shooting, whilst the line between their real lives and their play blurred.

Our filming crew of three eventually turned out to be a part of their theater team. Working under similar circumstances they created, at the end of five weeks, "the play of their lives", and I created, at the end of two years, the film "The Play".

Pelin Esmer


Director, Producer, Cinematographer, Editor
Pelin Esmer

Nida Karabol Akdeniz

Executive Producer
Tolga Esmer

Original Music
Mazlum Çimen

Production Manager
Peri Johnson

Additional camera for the play scenes
Mustafa Ünlü, Özlem Özbek
Emrah Yıldırım, Bülent Kılıç

Post Production Supervisor
Cem Yıldırım


(Arslankoy Village Theater Group)
Behiye Yanık, Cennet Güneş, Fatma Fatih, Fatma Kahraman, Hüseyin Arslanköylü, Naşide Kahraman, Nesime Kahraman, Saniye Cengiz, Ümmüye Koçak, Ümmü Kurt, Zeynep Fatih
(all as themselves).

Technical Info

Production Company, Year and Country
Sinefilm, 2005, Turkey
70' (Digi Beta), 73' (35 mm)
Shooting Format
Projection Format
Digi Beta (color, English, French, Spanish subtitles),
35 mm (color, English subtitles)
Stereo (Digi Beta), Dolby SR (35 mm)
Screen Ratio
4:3 (Digi Beta), 16:9 (35 mm)

Press & Reviews

For all reviews & critics : http://oyuntheplay.com/en_basin.htm

Photos & Trail

For photos, trailers : www.oyuntheplay.com
"11'e 10 Kala" DVD 11-10-dvd
dvd-75 vimeo-75
10 to 11
(2 DVD)
Special Edition
10 to 11
oyun_theplay_cover oyun_theplay_cover
itunes-75 vimeo-75
The Play
United Kingdom
The Play

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